Lessons Learned

May 27, 2011
By Crystal Terry BRONZE, Carrollton, Texas
Crystal Terry BRONZE, Carrollton, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Many people have impacted me enough to change my life. I can remember several people who I would credit if I had the chance, however they are not here, and there is someone who has helped me more than they ever had. Zach has always been a good friend. He was the only one who was there for me all four years of high school, and if we had gone to the same middle school I’m sure we would’ve been friends then too. There are many things to learn from him, but one lesson he taught me was to expect nothing and regret nothing. This is easy to say but not so easy to do, as many people have figured out, the future is unpredictable. How can we learn not to expect anything when in today’s world people are in a rush for everything; two minute breakfast, five second downloads, hour long traffic jam. The world today is made to fulfill the customer’s requirement within a time limit. When things don’t go as planned, many people get angry. I used to be the first to yell if the download time on a phone was longer than a minute, or if my breakfast took longer than five minutes to be on my plate. I’ve changed so much since then.

“Hurry up! I’m gonna be late!” frantically I ran to the door and pulled it open. Soon I was around the corner at the car. “Slow down, we have plenty of time.” My dad said over my shoulder. At the time, my dad was taking me to my gymnastics class and I couldn’t be more excited or impatient. When we were finally on the road, lightning was flashing and it started raining. I wasn’t scared, but I knew my dad always took longer to get somewhere if it was rainy. I was trying not to get mad because my dad was following the laws of the road instead of driving like the people around us. They were getting places faster than us and I wanted to also. Eventually the traffic came to a dead stop. It seemed like forever, but we eventually made our way past the disturbance. Apparently the person who was speeding earlier had gotten into a wreck with another car and a tree that looked like it was struck by lightning. My dad tried explaining to me that that’s what happens when people drive recklessly. I didn’t understand at the time that if we had been driving faster, even if we were not responsible for a wreck, we could’ve been hurt. That day made me stop rushing people for a while.

When my dad died it was a shock to everyone. My dad was healthy and the only injury he had was a fractured knee which he was taking medicine for. The unexpected part was that my dad was taking the wrong medicine. The doctor had given my dad coumadin which is blood thinner not a pain killer. My dad was in his room while I was eating breakfast, but then he called for me and said he had to go to the hospital. I was the one to call for the ambulance. That was the most unexpected event of my life, it’s also the time that I regret the most because on the night that he died, I was at a friend’s house expecting that the next day I could wish him a happy Valentine’s day.

When I met Zach I was a freshman, and he was someone I looked up to. Zach gave me advice that I should’ve paid attention to before, however I was a stupid freshman, and I had to learn everything for myself. When I was a freshman, my mom had gotten into prescription drugs, which would relieve her physical and mental stress. Later it turned into an addiction that ruined both of our lives for a while. I expected too much from her, which put so much stress on her that she could not recover from her drug use. Zach told me not to expect anything from others and to do whatever needs to be done by myself. I wasn’t used to being told anything so directly, but I figured that he was meaning to help me, not embarrass me, so I took his advice for a while. When I would start to get impatient with people, I would realize that those people stayed away from me. I hardly realized that I was putting pressure on the people around me until it finally hit me on prom night.

Prom night, Zach and I were going to the Mandalay hotel. I was too impatient to get there that I rushed him. We were yelling at each other by the time that we were stuck in traffic in a place neither one of us recognized. He yelled that he wished I never asked him to go to prom with me. I realized almost immediately that I was doing the same thing to him that I had done to everyone important to me. I was expecting unrealistic demands from him. I had put a time limit on him that was almost impossible to fulfill. I realized that if I had just let him drive, that we would have been there already. I also saw that I was driving him away with my sour attitude. I started to cry as I finally understood what he was telling me all along. When I expect something to turn out a certain way, and it does, then I’m expecting the next thing to go my way too and when it falls to pieces I get angry and sad, then I have regrets.

Zach has seen me change, and he has supported me the whole time. If he hadn’t been there to tell me what I was unconsciously doing, I would’ve kept on driving away my friends. My life has presented unexpected challenges since then, but because of the memories that taught me patience, I have gotten through them without regrets. Through learning not to expect anything, I’ve also learned patience, self respect, and respect for the ones I love.

The author's comments:
When I wrote this, i had no idea i would have to read it in front of a class.

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This article has 1 comment.

Mrs. P said...
on Jun. 19 2011 at 6:45 pm
You did it:)


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